Marsh century puts Australia in control of 2nd Ashes test
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Shaun Marsh repaid Australian cricket selectors for gambling on his recall.
Marsh batted through the day after resuming on 20 on Sunday, surviving an lbw decision on his way to his fifth test century and first against England. He notched an unbeaten 126 before Australia declared at 442-8 late on day two of the day-night Ashes test.
In reply, England was 29-1 when rain halted play during the night session, a deficit of 413 runs. After the rain stopped, the umpires ruled the ground was too wet to continue before stumps. Alastair Cook remained unbeaten on 11.
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc trapped Mark Stoneman (18) lbw with a swinging yorker at the end of the seventh over, and England didn’t score another run before stumps.
Marsh has been in and out of the Australian test lineup since his debut in 2011, and was most recently dropped during the tour to India in March before getting a recall for the five-test series against England. He hadn’t scored a test century since August last year, and had only scored one previous test hundred on home soil.
”There were a few emotions there.” Marsh said. ”Probably when I got to 90 I started to get a little bit nervous. I am really relaxed at the moment. It was hard work this morning, hopefully it can be hard work (for England) tomorrow morning.”
The 34-year-old lefthander scored an important 51 in Australia’s 10-wicket win in the series-opening match in Brisbane last week and needed to dig in again following the loss of early wickets after England won the toss in Adelaide and sent the hosts in to bat.
His century came from 213 balls, and he reached triple figures with a pulled boundary off Chris Woakes. His innings wasn’t without chances – he reviewed an lbw decision when he was on 29 and got a reprieve, he got an edge which didn’t quite carry to slip on 31 and was dropped again on 102, just before the dinner interval.
His stand included important innings-building partnerships of 48 with Peter Handscomb (36), 85 with Tim Paine (57) and 99 for the eighth wicket with Pat Cummins, who was caught off Craig Overton (3-105) for 44 in the over after the dinner break.
Nathan Lyon scored 10 off 11 balls in a cameo as Australia chased quick runs before declaring and sending England in to bat under lights at the Adelaide Oval.
England’s pace attack had periods of ascendency earlier in the day, with Stuart Broad (2-72) trapping Handscomb on the third ball and returning in the first over after the tea break to dismiss Starc (6).
In between, Overton managed to get Paine – who posted his third test half century, and first since 2010 – caught at deep backward square after a succession of short-pitch deliveries to mix up the attack.
Jimmy Anderson had two lbw decisions from umpire Chris Gaffaney in successive overs overturned on review by the Australians in the first session, with Marsh and Paine each getting a reprieve.
In the 90th over, Anderson hit Marsh on the knee roll but TV tracker technology showed the ball was going over middle stump.
In the 92nd over, Paine was on 24 when he also was hit in front but the tracker technology again indicated the ball was going over.
Otherwise, the second day belonged to Australia and cast doubt on England captain Joe Root’s decision to field first after winning the toss.
England’s Australian-born coach Trevor Bayliss was confident the visitors could post a big score on Monday.
”It’s a good feeling in the dressing room, they were certainly not disheartened at all,” Bayliss said. ”Shaun showed it’s not impossible to score runs out there, a lot of their batters made starts. It’s up to one or two of our guys to make a big score.”